Resources to Build Health Literacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of health literate communication. Health literacy empowers patients to be able to obtain and understand their healthcare information, and is particularly important when communicating with those with limited health literacy who also experience more serious medication errors, higher rates of hospitalization, poor health outcomes, and increased mortality. These publications support the development, implementation and sharing of evidence-based health literacy practices and policies. All are free to download.

Developing Health Literacy Skills in Children and Youth: Proceedings of a Workshop

Developing Health Literacy Skills in Children and Youth: Proceedings of a Workshop

Young people develop health literacy skills in a variety of environments, facing critical thinking challenges about their health from school, home and family life, peers and social life, and online. To explore the development of health literacy skills in youth, the Roundtable on Health Literacy …[more]

The Intersection of Behavioral Health, Mental Health, and Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

The Intersection of Behavioral Health, Mental Health, and Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

The field of health literacy has evolved from early efforts that focused on individuals to its current recognition that health literacy is a multidimensional team and system function. Health literacy includes system demands and complexities as well as individual skills and abilities. While …[more]

Health Literacy and Older Adults: Reshaping the Landscape: Proceedings of a Workshop

Health Literacy and Older Adults: Reshaping the Landscape: Proceedings of a Workshop

Adults age 65 and older make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. At the same time, the complexity of health care delivery continues to grow, creating challenges that are magnified for older adults, given that age is one of the highest correlates of low health literacy. This …[more]

Building the Case for Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

Building the Case for Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

The field of health literacy has evolved from one focused on individuals to one that recognizes that health literacy is multidimensional. While communicating in a health literate manner is important for everyone, it is particularly important when communicating with those with limited health …[more]

Health Literacy and Consumer-Facing Technology: Workshop Summary

Health Literacy and Consumer-Facing Technology: Workshop Summary

The proliferation of consumer-facing technology and personal health information technology has grown steadily over the past decade, and has certainly exploded over the past several years. Many people have embraced smartphones and wearable health-monitoring devices to track their fitness and …[more]

Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services: Workshop Summary

Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services: Workshop Summary

The aging and evolving racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population has the United States in the midst of a profound demographic shift and health care organizations face many issues as they move to address and adapt to this change. In their drive to adequately serve increasingly diverse …[more]

Health Literacy: Past, Present, and Future: Workshop Summary

Health Literacy: Past, Present, and Future: Workshop Summary

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine released Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, a report on the then-underappreciated challenge of enabling patients to comprehend their condition and treatment, to make the best decisions for their care, and to take the right medications at …[more]

Informed Consent and Health Literacy: Workshop Summary

Informed Consent and Health Literacy: Workshop Summary

Informed consent – the process of communication between a patient or research subject and a physician or researcher that results in the explicit agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention – is an ethical concept based on the principle that all patients and research subjects should …[more]

Health Literacy and Numeracy: Workshop Summary

Health Literacy and Numeracy: Workshop Summary

Although health literacy is commonly defined as an individual trait, it does not depend on the skills of individuals alone. Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals’ capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system. …[more]

Toward Health Equity and Patient-Centeredness: Integrating Health Literacy, Disparities Reduction, and Quality Improvement: Workshop Summary

Toward Health Equity and Patient-Centeredness: Integrating Health Literacy, Disparities Reduction, and Quality Improvement: Workshop Summary

To receive the greatest value for health care, it is important to focus on issues of quality and disparity, and the ability of individuals to make appropriate decisions based on basic health knowledge and services. The Forum on the Science of Health Care Quality Improvement and Implementation, …[more]

Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion

Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion

To maintain their own health and the health of their families and communities, consumers rely heavily on the health information that is available to them. This information is at the core of the partnerships that patients and their families forge with today’s complex modern health systems. …[more]

Building a STEMM Workforce for the 21st Century

In order to fully capitalize on twenty-first century advances, the United States needs to expand its science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM)-capable workforce. Evidence suggests that the nation will need 1 million more STEMM professionals than it is on track to produce in the coming decade. Our titles explore the current status of the STEMM workforce and offer a comprehensive road map for increasing the quantity and diversity of the individuals who enter STEMM fields. As always, all are free to read online or download.

Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors

Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors

Careers in science, engineering, and medicine offer opportunities to advance knowledge, contribute to the well-being of communities, and support the security, prosperity, and health of the United States. But many women do not pursue or persist in these careers, or advance to leadership positions …[more]

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

Mentorship is a catalyst capable of unleashing one’s potential for discovery, curiosity, and participation in STEMM and subsequently improving the training environment in which that STEMM potential is fostered. Mentoring relationships provide developmental spaces in which students’ STEMM skills …[more]

Minority Serving Institutions: America's Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce

Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce

There are over 20 million young people of color in the United States whose representation in STEM education pathways and in the STEM workforce is still far below their numbers in the general population. Their participation could help re-establish the United States’ preeminence in STEM …[more]

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation …[more]

Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

The U.S. system of graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has served the nation and its science and engineering enterprise extremely well. Over the course of their education, graduate students become involved in advancing the frontiers of discovery, as …[more]

An American Crisis: The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science: Proceedings of a Joint Workshop

An American Crisis: The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science: Proceedings of a Joint Workshop

Black men are increasingly underrepresented in medical schools and in the medical profession. A diverse workforce is a key attribute of quality healthcare and research suggests that a diverse workforce may help to advance cultural competency and increase access to high-quality health care, …[more]

The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through

The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has developed the world’s preeminent system for biomedical research, one that has given rise to revolutionary medical advances as well as a dynamic and innovative business sector generating high-quality jobs and powering economic output …[more]

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

The field of computer science (CS) is currently experiencing a surge in undergraduate degree production and course enrollments, which is straining program resources at many institutions and causing concern among faculty and administrators about how best to respond to the rapidly growing demand. …[more]

Building America's Skilled Technical Workforce

Building America’s Skilled Technical Workforce

Skilled technical occupations—defined as occupations that require a high level of knowledge in a technical domain but do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry—are a key component of the U.S. economy. In response to globalization and advances in science and technology, American firms …[more]

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students' Diverse Pathways

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways

Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the barriers to students realizing their ambitions are reflected in the fact that about half of those …[more]

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia …[more]

Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation's Health Needs

Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs

Today’s physician education system produces trained doctors with strong scientific underpinnings in biological and physical sciences as well as supervised practical experience in delivering care. Significant financial public support underlies the graduate-level training of the nation’s …[more]

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

The Future of Nursing explores how nurses’ roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America’s increasingly complex health system.

At …[more]

Resources to Support Quality Education in a COVID-19 World

On World Teachers Day we celebrate all the ways that teachers touch our lives and thank them for educating and inspiring. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended education systems and has required teachers to find new ways to connect with and motivate students. Our resources can inform and enhance efforts to support vulnerable populations, reopen schools, and provide remote learning while maintaining quality learning experiences. All are free to download.

Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities

Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the nation’s K-12 education system. The rush to slow the spread of the virus led to closures of schools across the country, with little time to ensure continuity of instruction or to create a framework for deciding when and how to …[more]

Teaching K-12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis

Teaching K-12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in widespread and ongoing changes to how the K55 education system functions, including disruptions to science teaching and learning environments. Students and teachers are all figuring out how to do schooling differently, and districts and states are working …[more]

Changing Expectations for the K-12 Teacher Workforce: Policies, Preservice Education, Professional Development, and the Workplace

Changing Expectations for the K-12 Teacher Workforce: Policies, Preservice Education, Professional Development, and the Workplace

Teachers play a critical role in the success of their students, both academically and in regard to long term outcomes such as higher education participation and economic attainment. Expectations for teachers are increasing due to changing learning standards and a rapidly diversifying student …[more]

English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives

English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives

The imperative that all students, including English learners (ELs), achieve high academic standards and have opportunities to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning has become even more urgent and complex given shifts in science and mathematics …[more]

Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center

Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center

It is essential for today’s students to learn about science and engineering in order to make sense of the world around them and participate as informed members of a democratic society. The skills and ways of thinking that are developed and honed through engaging in scientific and engineering …[more]

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and what they can do to ensure that people …[more]

Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures

Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures

Educating dual language learners (DLLs) and English learners (ELs) effectively is a national challenge with consequences both for individuals and for American society. Despite their linguistic, cognitive, and social potential, many ELs—who account for more than 9 percent of enrollment in …[more]

Building Capacity for Teaching Engineering in K-12 Education

Building Capacity for Teaching Engineering in K-12 Education

Engineering education is emerging as an important component of US K-12 education. Across the country, students in classrooms and after- and out-of-school programs are participating in hands-on, problem-focused learning activities using the engineering design process. These experiences can be …[more]

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators, teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, and school administrators need to know to create and support such …[more]

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S. workers lack fundamental knowledge in …[more]

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

Next Generation Science Standards identifies the science all K-12 students should know. These new standards are based on the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the …[more]

Life at the Beach: Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities

According to NOAA, coastal counties of the U.S. are home to over 127 million people, or almost 40 percent of the nation’s total population. Besides environmental stressors such as sea level rise and intensifying hurricanes, modifications from human activities, including building levees and canals and constructing buildings and roads, have left their own imprint on the natural landscape. Our titles explore impacts of climate change and human development on our coastlines, coastal ecosystems, and coastal communities. All are free to download.

Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast

Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast

The U.S. Gulf Coast provides a valuable setting to study deeply connected natural and human interactions and feedbacks that have led to a complex, interconnected coastal system. The physical landscape in the region has changed significantly due to broad-scale, long-term processes such as coastal subsidence and river sediment deposition as well …[more]

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Flooding is the natural hazard with the greatest economic and social impact in the United States, and these impacts are becoming more severe over time. Catastrophic flooding from recent hurricanes, including Superstorm Sandy in New York (2012) and Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017), caused billions of dollars in property damage, adversely …[more]

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the …[more]

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review – 2018

During the past century, the Everglades, one of the world’s treasured ecosystems, has been dramatically altered by drainage and water management infrastructure that was intended to improve flood management, urban water supply, and agricultural production. The remnants of the original Everglades now compete for water with urban and …[more]

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased …[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private …[more]

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health discusses the connection of ecosystem services and human health. This report looks at the state of the science of the role of oceans in ensuring human health and identifies gaps and opportunities for future research. The report summarizes …[more]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future …[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal communities from sea level rise and possible increases in strength of the largest hurricanes. Several …[more]

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

Tide gauges show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise …[more]

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts

Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, NOAA has improved the ability …[more]

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that falls as rain rather than snow has increased across the western United States and Arctic sea ice …[more]

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is essential to consider both the value of the development and the value of the ecosystem …[more]

Resources for Community Preparedness and Response to Wildfire Threats

The Pacific Northwest is facing an unprecedented fire season, in which wildfires have burned more than 2.5 million acres in California alone, with additional acres burned in Oregon and Washington. Wildfires and other disasters can be particularly devastating for vulnerable communities. Members of these communities tend to experience worse health outcomes from disasters, have fewer resources for responding and rebuilding, and receive less assistance from state, local, and federal agencies. Because burning wood releases particulate matter and other toxicants, the health effects of wildfires extend well beyond burns. In addition, deposition of toxicants in soil and water can result in chronic as well as acute exposures.

Our resources can inform communities as they prepare for and respond to environmental disasters such as wildfires. All are free to download.

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantial increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildlands and climate experts expect these trends to continue and quite likely to worsen in coming years. Wildfires and other disasters can be …[more]

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

Although ecosystems, humans, and fire have coexisted for millennia, changes in geology, ecology, hydrology, and climate as well as sociocultural, regulatory, and economic factors have converged to make wildland fire management exceptionally challenging for U.S. federal, state, and local …[more]

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

When communities face complex public health emergencies, state local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies must make difficult decisions regarding how to effectively respond. The public health emergency preparedness and response (PHEPR) system, with its multifaceted mission to …[more]

A Framework for Assessing Mortality and Morbidity After Large-Scale Disasters

A Framework for Assessing Mortality and Morbidity After Large-Scale Disasters

In the wake of a large-scale disaster, from the initial devastation through the long tail of recovery, protecting the health and well-being of the affected individuals and communities is paramount. Accurate and timely information about mortality and significant morbidity related to the disaster …[more]

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Following a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, that revealed shortcomings in the nation’s ability to effectively alert populations at risk, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act in 2006. Today, new technologies such as smart phones and …[more]

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation …[more]

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps is the summary of a February, 2013 workshop convened by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council to examine precise geotargeting of public alerts and …[more]


Dealing with Disasters: Resources to Support Mental Health

Almost everyone in a community struck by a disaster will feel some type of emotional effect. For most, the acute reactions will be transient, and functional recovery will occur without intervention. For some, however, the impacts of a disaster on behavioral health can be severe and long-lasting, and if not addressed, can impede the recovery of individuals, families, and communities, resulting in significant long-term health burdens. There is chronic underreporting of behavioral health problems, due to the stigma often associated with these conditions, the separation of mental health services from medical services, and the lag time between exposure and the onset of disorder.

Our publications examine the linkages among behavioral health, resilience, and healthy communities; activities that mitigate adverse behavioral health effects in survivors; the gaps in the current system for addressing disaster-related behavioral health needs; and the opportunities for strengthening the behavioral health sector and integrating it with other sectors by leveraging disaster-related resources and experiences. All are free to download.

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

When communities face complex public health emergencies, state local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies must make difficult decisions regarding how to effectively respond. The public health emergency preparedness and response …[more]

Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Proceedings of a Workshop

Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Proceedings of a Workshop

The social determinants of mental health involve the economic, social, and political conditions into which one is born that influence a person’s mental health – and, in particular, that affect the likelihood a person raised in deficient or …[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …[more]

Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change

Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change

Estimates indicate that as many as 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental health problem or will misuse alcohol or drugs in their lifetimes. These disorders are among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they …[more]

Measuring Trauma: Workshop Summary

Measuring Trauma: Workshop Summary

The Workshop on Integrating New Measures of Trauma into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Data Collection Programs, held in Washington, D.C. in December 2015, was organized as part of an effort to assist …[more]

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to …[more]

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary

Preparedness, Response and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families is the summary of a workshop convened in June, 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events to …[more]

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching …[more]

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems …[more]

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of …[more]

Resources to Support the Participation and Advancement of Women in STEMM

Scientist Working in The Laboratory

Women’s Equality Day reminds us that we must continue to drive bias, discrimination, and harassment out of our institutions and society. Despite decades of research, funding, and programs dedicated to increasing the representation of women in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and medicine, the numbers, particularly in leadership roles, have remained low or stagnant in many fields, particularly among women of color. Our reports explore the wide range of structural, cultural, and institutional patterns of bias, discrimination, and inequity that affect women, and the steps that can be taken to increase representation in STEMM. All are free to download.

Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors

Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors

Careers in science, engineering, and medicine offer opportunities to advance knowledge, contribute to the well-being of communities, and support the security, prosperity, and health of the United States. But many women do not pursue or persist in these careers, or advance to leadership positions – not because they lack the talent or …[more]

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

Mentorship is a catalyst capable of unleashing one’s potential for discovery, curiosity, and participation in STEMM and subsequently improving the training environment in which that STEMM potential is fostered. Mentoring relationships provide developmental spaces in which students’ STEMM skills are honed and pathways into STEMM fields can be …[more]

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation of women, has improved and there are significantly …[more]

Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

The U.S. system of graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has served the nation and its science and engineering enterprise extremely well. Over the course of their education, graduate students become involved in advancing the frontiers of discovery, as well as in making significant contributions to the …[more]

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia and explore the challenges and successful …[more]

Career Choices of Female Engineers: A Summary of a Workshop

Career Choices of Female Engineers: A Summary of a Workshop

Despite decades of government, university, and employer efforts to close the gender gap in engineering, women make up only 11 percent of practicing engineers in the United States. What factors influence women graduates’ decisions to enter the engineering workforce and either to stay in or leave the field as their careers progress? Researchers …[more]

From Science to Business: Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers for Successful Transitions into Entrepreneurship: Summary of a Workshop

From Science to Business: Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers for Successful Transitions into Entrepreneurship: Summary of a Workshop

Scientists, engineers, and medical professionals play a vital role in building the 21st- century science and technology enterprises that will create solutions and jobs critical to solving the large, complex, and interdisciplinary problems faced by society: problems in energy, sustainability, the environment, water, food, disease, and …[more]

Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context: Summary of a Workshop

Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context: Summary of a Workshop

The scientific work of women is often viewed through a national or regional lens, but given the growing worldwide connectivity of most, if not all, scientific disciplines, there needs to be recognition of how different social, political, and economic mechanisms impact women’s participation in the global scientific enterprise. Although these …[more]

To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

Although more women than men participate in higher education in the United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering identifies and discusses better practices for recruitment, retention, and promotion for women scientists …[more]

Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the innovative capacity of all its people—women and men. However, women face barriers to …[more]

Resources to Understand Reliability and Transparency in Scientific Studies

The urgency of finding solutions to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a greatly accelerated pace of scientific research. As the volume and speed of scientific publishing have increased, openness and transparency are key to producing reliable and trusted science. Transparency about methods, data, computer code, and other aspects of research is crucial to efforts to produce results that can be reproduced and/or replicated. Our titles discuss reproducibility and replicability, open sharing of data, and fostering integrity in the scientific enterprise. All are free to download.

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

One of the pathways by which the scientific community confirms the validity of a new scientific discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. When a scientific effort fails to independently confirm the computations or results of a previous study, some fear that it may be a symptom of …[more]

Methods to Foster Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics: Proceedings of a Workshop

Methods to Foster Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics: Proceedings of a Workshop

In 2014 the National Science Foundation (NSF) provided support to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a series of Forums on Open Science in response to a government-wide directive to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the federal …[more]

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research

Openness and sharing of information are fundamental to the progress of science and to the effective functioning of the research enterprise. The advent of scientific journals in the 17th century helped power the Scientific Revolution by allowing researchers to communicate across time and space, …[more]

Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility in Biomedical Research Through Transparent Reporting: Proceedings of a Workshop

Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility in Biomedical Research Through Transparent Reporting: Proceedings of a Workshop

Sharing knowledge is what drives scientific progress – each new advance or innovation in biomedical research builds on previous observations. However, for experimental findings to be broadly accepted as credible by the scientific community, they must be verified by other researchers. An …[more]

Fostering Integrity in Research

Fostering Integrity in Research

The integrity of knowledge that emerges from research is based on individual and collective adherence to core values of objectivity, honesty, openness, fairness, accountability, and stewardship. Integrity in science means that the organizations in which research is conducted encourage those …[more]

Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Risk

Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Risk

Data sharing can accelerate new discoveries by avoiding duplicative trials, stimulating new ideas for research, and enabling the maximal scientific knowledge and benefits to be gained from the efforts of clinical trial participants and investigators. At the same time, sharing clinical trial data …[more]

Sharing Clinical Research Data: Workshop Summary

Sharing Clinical Research Data: Workshop Summary

Pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers, and government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health all possess large quantities of clinical research data. If these data were shared more widely within and across sectors, the resulting research …[more]

Statistical Challenges in Assessing and Fostering the Reproducibility of Scientific Results: Summary of a Workshop

Statistical Challenges in Assessing and Fostering the Reproducibility of Scientific Results: Summary of a Workshop

Questions about the reproducibility of scientific research have been raised in numerous settings and have gained visibility through several high-profile journal and popular press articles. Quantitative issues contributing to reproducibility challenges have been considered (including improper …[more]

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

As digital technologies are expanding the power and reach of research, they are also raising complex issues. These include complications in ensuring the validity of research data; standards that do not keep pace with the high rate of innovation; restrictions on data sharing that reduce the …[more]

Supporting the Health and Well-Being of Older Adults in a COVID-19 World

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of the elderly population, particularly those who require caregiving for a health or functional limitation. A network of family, friends, and professionals provide care, and changes that challenge the availability of these resources can cause significant impacts on the health and well-being of older adults. Our titles explore the challenges of aging and the ways that science can expand our knowledge and inform decision making. As always, these publications are all free to download.

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System

Social isolation and loneliness are serious yet underappreciated public health risks that affect a significant portion of the older adult population. Approximately one-quarter of community-dwelling Americans aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, and a significant proportion …[more]

Families Caring for an Aging America

Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our …[more]

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

For most Americans, staying “mentally sharp” as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative …[more]

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. We now know that brain changes typically begin years before people show symptoms, which suggests a window of opportunity to prevent or delay the onset of these …[more]

Future Directions for the Demography of Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Future Directions for the Demography of Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Almost 25 years have passed since the Demography of Aging (1994) was published by the National Research Council. Future Directions for the Demography of Aging is, in many ways, the successor to that original volume. The Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National …[more]

Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop

Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop

Many different groups of people are subject to stereotypes. Positive stereotypes (e.g., “older and wiser”) may provide a benefit to the relevant groups. However, negative stereotypes of aging and of disability continue to persist and, in some cases, remain socially acceptable. Research has …[more]

New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and possible changes in benefit levels. Furthermore, changes in the …[more]

Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging Through Technology: Workshop Summary

Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging Through Technology: Workshop Summary

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) have had prominent roles in discussions of aging, disability, and technology for decades. In 1978, Aging and Medical Education (IOM, 1978) raised national awareness of the challenges to physicians posed by the aging of the …[more]

Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

In September 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States, with a focus on nutrition, and how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not just in …[more]

Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community: Workshop Summary

Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community: Workshop Summary

The U.S. population of older adults is predicted to grow rapidly as “baby boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) begin to reach 65 years of age. Simultaneously, advancements in medical care and improved awareness of healthy lifestyles have led to longer life expectancies. The Census Bureau …[more]

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care …[more]

Science on Policing and the Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation of Evidence in the Justice System

“Policing is primarily shaped by two public expectations. First, the police are called on to deal with crime and disorder, preventing them when possible, and to bring to account those who disobey the law. Second, the public expects their police to be impartial, producing justice through the fair, effective, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success in meeting these expectations have become more exacting and challenging, and police agencies today must find ways to respond in an effective, affordable, and legitimate way” – Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence, 2004

Communities across our nation are reevaluating policing goals, methods, and procedures.  Evidence-based science can provide guidance as our nation seeks to address challenges and opportunities facing law enforcement and our justice system.  Fair and effective policing must ensure that evidence is not contaminated or collected in a biased manner.  Similarly, it is critical that evidence submitted in a courtroom is evaluated on the basis of scientific merit. The following  publications recommend best practices for policing and evidence analysis and evaluation. All are free to read online or download.

Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities

Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities

Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism …[more]

Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence

Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence

Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success have …[more]

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification makes the case that better data collection and research on eyewitness identification, new law enforcement training protocols, standardized procedures for administering line-ups, and improvements in the handling of eyewitness …[more]

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence by describing the basic tenets of key scientific fields from which legal evidence is typically derived and by providing examples of cases in …[more]

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are …[more]